Exercise Tolerance Test

What is an Exercise Tolerance Test ?

An Exercise Tolerance Test is a test used to stress the heart, usually by walking on a treadmill machine.

What happens during an Exercise Tolerance Test ?

You will be connected to an ECG machine, much like having a resting ECG trace performed. Stickers will be placed on your chest and shoulders and lower abdomen. You will have your blood pressure taken, then you will be asked to walk on the treadmill (or cycle on a bicycle where this is offered). You will follow a set protocol where the treadmill(or bicycle) will get faster and steeper every three minutes. The starting level is a slow gentle walk, up a mild incline.

Your doctor will monitor the heart trace whilst you  exercise and look for changes in the the heart trace or the heart rhythm.

At the end of the test the doctor will produce a report.

Who should have an Exercise Tolerance Test?

  • Patients undergoing evaluation of chest discomfort or pain.
  • Some patients undergoing evaluation of palpitation.
  • Some patients with changes on their ECG trace.
  • Occupational medical requirements (e.g. to work offshore , or for occupational driving).
  • There are many other situations where a doctor may recommend an exercise test.

Where can an Exercise Tolerance Test be performed ?

An exercise test can be performed at any of the clinics in Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow.